Judge Markandey Katju is a former Judge, Supreme Court of India, and former Chairman of the Indian Press Council. The views expressed are his own.
I have written an article, Six questions for Imran Khan, which has been published on Show News.
In response, I have received this letter by email from Canada:
Dear Mr. Justice Katju
I received your article being forwarded and I thank you for it. I was born in India and my family moved to Pakistan. So I am as Indian as I am Pakistani. I have lived in Canada for over 40 years and am not a supporter of Imran Khan at all.
However, after thirty years Pakistan has come out of the Bhutto / Shareef dynasty which used Pakistan as an ATM for their personal gain. Together they destroyed Pakistan’s economy which was only survived by constant financial injection by the IMF. After a long time, Pakistan emerged from the vicious circle of politics and a new face emerged, perhaps with military support.
However, I believe Imran khan is struggling with the establishment to get rid of a culture of corruption and I am not sure if he will survive. The whole opposition “tola” has joined hands to remove him from power.
The main problem facing this country is the increase in inflation due to the fall of the PKR against the US Dollar. The previous government kept the value of the US Dollar high by creating artificial demand for PKR on borrowed US currency.
I appreciate your question which is related but the answer is not straightforward. You know Pakistan has a history of military takeovers. In the past two and a half years, Imran has failed to live up to his promises but has not forgotten that he does not hold a majority in parliament and relies on support from coalition partners, some of whom are “electable”.
Imran’s downfall will be quick if he commits military corruption as he fights civilians. The only solution is to slow down the military. If he is successful, then military power will decline and the military will come under civilian rule as happened in Turkey. That would be the right time to hold the military accountable for wrongdoing.
As for other matters, you know that Pakistan needs time to overcome financial difficulties and it will take time.
The Ahmadiyya issue is emotional / political in Pakistan and Imran can commit political suicide by addressing this issue at times of bloodthirsty opposition.
Your question is valid but ‘slow’ is the right approach.
My reply is this:
Thank you for your email.
Let me tell you from the start that I don’t consider Imran Khan personally corrupt (unlike Bhuttos and Sharif), just as I don’t think Narendra Modi is personally corrupt (unlike Gandhi), or Hitler personally corrupt. . Hitler had no foreign bank accounts and had almost no assets when he died. Different people have different motivations. Hitler was not looking for money but power.
However, I have to disagree with you on some of the things you put forward:
1. You said that if Imran Khan is successful, military power will decline, and the military will be under civilian rule. I’m telling you that you live in a fool’s paradise. Please read carefully this article which I wrote some time ago: https://www.theweek.in/news/india/2019/08/26/opinion-the-truth-about-the-pakistan-military.html
As you will understand after reading this article, the Pakistani army is a large band of marauders who have spread their tentacles to almost every sector of the Pakistani economy. He is like Dracula, a vampire, who can only survive by sucking human blood. To think that it will recede or come under civilian rule, is to live in the land of la la.
The army has been the true ruler of Pakistan since General Ayub Khan launched a military coup in 1958. They will never give up power, because it allows senior officers to accumulate wealth.
But the army needs the fig leaves of the civilian government behind it to hide, and for this they have chosen a puppet like Imran Khan, who, shouting and screaming against corruption, will never whisper a word against Pakistan’s Cosa Nostra – Pakistan’s military.
2. Imran Khan, like Modi, cries hoarsely that he will get back money that some people illegally sucked out of the country from Pakistan, and return it to the country. But he didn’t even get a single rupee back. So isn’t that all incitement, for public consumption, or ‘jumla’, as Amit Shah puts it?
3. You said that the Ahmadiyya problem is an emotional one, and that Imran Khan would commit suicide if he tried to solve the problem.
So you think he should turn a blind eye to the continuing killings and other atrocities against Ahmadis (who make up nearly 3-4 percent of Pakistan’s population), just as the world has turned a blind eye to the terrible atrocities against Jews. during Nazi rule. See: https://www.rabwah.net/the-barbaric-persecution-of-ahmadis-in-pakistan/
In addition, Imran Khan has sought and took the support of Tehreeke Labait, Khatm-e-Nabuwat and other anti-Ahmadi religious extremists during the 2018 parliamentary elections, and he will need them in the next election as well. So why should he take action against them? After all, he is a politician.
4. Whether Imran Khan has taken any action against his own corrupt MPs (some of whom were members of the PPP or PMLN before turning to PTI before the 2018 elections), especially questionable ‘electables’ (crooked sugar lords and other businessmen who was given a PTI ticket)? Or did he give them permission, to keep his property safe chair? So, isn’t he hypocritical when it comes to speaking out against corruption?
5. Increase in the price of food, fuel, electricity, etc. The large and ever-increasing and record unemployment has become a nightmare for Pakistanis (as has happened to Indians). Why didn’t Imran Khan address this issue in his speech to Parliament? How long will he continue to blame the opposition for all the ills in Pakistan?
I have likened Imran Khan to an American con artist Soapy Smith. Like Soapy, Imran Khan too, as smooth as they are, and a fluent speaker, like Modi.
I conveyed that Imran Khan will remain in power only until it is compatible with his military and other vested interests. When her utilities were finished, she would find the carpet beneath her feet being removed so quickly that her head would spin
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